Thomas Ala, MD

Professor - Department of Neurology

    About me

    Dr. Ala has been with SIU Medicine since 1999.  He is certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and specializes in the evaluation and treatment of patients who have cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and other dementing illnesses.  Dr. Ala has been a member of the team that plans and implements Risk and Preention/Healthy Brain Aging Programs which are comprised of evening events for the community and all-day symposiums for healthcare providers.  The programs summarize recent research on risk and protective factors for Alzheimer's disease and discuss the latest recommendations regarding how to lower one's risk for dementia.  Dr. Ala is responsible for the clinical aspects of the SIU Memory and Aging Network sites.  This program provides patients who have concerns of possible Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders the opportunity to be evaluated closer to home rather than have to travel to specialized centers in St. Louis, Chicago, or Indianapolis.  Thirty-two sites servicing 93 Illinois counties outside of the Chicago area have been recruited and trained in this program, including hospitals, clinics, health departments, mental health and counseling centers, and organizations that serve the elderly.



    Education & training

    Medical Director of the Alzheimer's Center
    Board Certifications
    Medical School
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - Neurology
    Regions Hospital, St. Paul, MN - Neuropathology


    Research Interests
    Caregiving issues in Alzheimer's disease. Clinical and Neuropathological research in Alzheimer's disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Vascular Dementia, and Other Dementing Illnesses. New Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease. Behavioral Neurology. Memory loss.


    Jones G, Tabassum V, Zarow GJ, Ala T. The inability of older adults to recall their drugs and medical conditions. Drugs Aging. 2015;32:329-336;  

    Pyo G, Ala T, Kyrouac GA, Verhulst SJ. A validity study of the Working Group's Autobiographical Memory Test for individuals with moderate to severe intellectual disability. Res Dev Disabil. 2011;32:70-74. PMID: 20875945; 

    Struble RG, Ala T, Patrylo PR, Brewer GJ, Yan XX. Is brain amyloid production a cause or a result of dementia of the Alzheimer's type? J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;22:393-399. PMID: 20847431; 

    Pyo G, Ala T, Kyrouac GA, Verhulst SJ. A pilot study of a test for visual recognition memory in adults with moderate to severe intellectual disability. Res Dev Disabil. 2010;31:1475–1480. PMID: 20630702; 

    Elble RJ, Dubinsky RM, Ala T. Alzheimer’s disease and essential tremor finally meet. (Editorial). Mov Disord. 2007;22:1525-1527. PMID: 17557351; 

    Pyo G, Elble RJ, Ala T, Markwell SJ. The characteristics of patients with Uncertain/Mild Cognitive Impairment on the Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2006;20:16-22. PMID: 16493231;

    Ala TA, Berck LG, Popovich AM. Using the telephone to call for help and caregiver awareness in Alzheimer disease. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2005;19:79-84. PMID: 15942325; 

    Ala TA, Berck LG, Popovich AM. Knowledge of personal information and caregiver awareness in Alzheimer's disease. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2005;20:119-125. PMID: 15844758